ATF cites arson on Wind River Reservation in offering $10K reward

Local fire departments extinguish the flames at the Shoshone-Episcopal Mission in Fort Washakie, Wyoming, on the morning of March 17, 2016. Photo courtesy ATF

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is offering a $10,000 reward for information about a fire on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming.

The Shoshone-Episcopal Mission in Fort Washakie was destroyed by the March 17 blaze. The historic structure once served as a school and boarding house for Shoshone girls from 1890 till 1945, according to the Alliance for Historic Wyoming.

The ATF National Response Team has been investigating the fire. The cause hasn't been completely determined but the agency believes it was caused by "human hands."

“We believe someone may have additional information regarding this incident and are seeking the public’s assistance,” said Special Agent in Charge Ken Croke said in a press release.

A photo of the Shoshone-Episcopal Mission, sometime between 1900 and 1910. Image by J.E. Stimpson via National Park Service

The mission itself was founded in 1889 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. The land was donated to the Episcopal church by Shoshone Chief Washakie, who signed a series of treaties with the United States, including the one that created the reservation.

The reservation is home to the Eastern Shoshone Tribe and the Northern Arapaho Tribe.

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